In the small onsen town of Takeo, just to the east of Arita, lies a tiny cluster of lemongrass fields that have become a source of local pride, and inspiration for this unique shochu. Handcrafted in the traditional way, it is single distilled from a mash of locally farmed rice, freshly harvested, organic lemongrass and the pure, famous waters of Black Hair Mountain (Kurokami-yama).
At 70 proof it is more concentrated like shochus of old, yet the introduction of lemongrass is a first in shochu production; an innovative twist by master distillers Shinji Wada and Hirofumi Okoba. Grown organically atop nearby mountains, the freshly cut lemongrass is added to a rice-based mash just three days before distillation. Oils from the leaves commingle with local rice and white koji to create a distinctively refreshing shochu.
TASTING NOTES: Bright, citrusy, delicate, delicious. A blend of sake-like aromas and lemongrass on the nose. Silky mouthfeel. Hints of meyer lemon and a light sweetness that brings to mind rice pudding.
DRINKING SUGGESTIONS: Enjoyed best on the rocks, or as a highball, topped with soda water and garnished with a slice of lemon. Also enjoy with citrusy soft drinks like lemonade, iced green tea, or a variety of tropical mixers like coconut water (with a spritz of lemon).